Date published: 
3 February 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

There’s new hope for Australians living with chronic kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, and tumours of the midgut, thanks to new and amended medicines listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 February 2020.

The Morrison Government will list Pharmacor Cinacalcet® on the PBS to help more patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis.

In 2017, about 17,000 Australians lost their lives to chronic kidney disease. This disease accounts for about 1.8 million hospitalisations - or 16 per cent of all hospitalisations in Australia.

Chronic kidney disease is common, costly and often detected too late to be reversible, so this listing is vitally important to support patients and their families.

Approximately 3,700 patients are expected to benefit from this listing each year. Without subsidy, patients might pay over $700 per year for Pharmacor Cinacalcet®.

Symdeko® was listed on the PBS on 1 December 2019 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, and will now be extended to ensure all patients with at least one residual function mutation in the CFTR gene have access to this medicine.

Ten to 15 patients might otherwise pay up to $250,000 a year for Symdeko®, but with the PBS subsidy they will only pay a maximum of $41 per script, or $6.60 with a concession card.

The Government will also extend the PBS listing of Sandostatin® to patients with non‑functional neuroendocrine tumours of the midgut.

Neuroendocrine tumours are malignant growths. Sandostatin® blocks the damaging effects of over-production of hormones associated with this condition.

Without the PBS subsidy, approximately 460 patients would otherwise pay more than $23,500 per year for treatment.

Each of these listings has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

Unlike Labor, we are listing all medicines recommended by the medical experts on the PBAC. In 2011, Labor stopped listing medicines on the PBS because they could not manage the economy.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has made close to 2,300 new or amended listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $10.9 billion.

The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.